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Building a private cloud is the next step for enterprise IT. A 7-year research with 15,000 data points, as shown below, provides overwhelming evidences and concludes a noticeable increase in efficiency with significant reduction of TCO by moving IT from Basic into Rationalized stage in the IO (Infrastructure Optimization) model. And cloud, or more specifically private cloud computing, offers a roadmap to facilitate enterprise IT transforming from Basic or Standardized into Rationalized and beyond. As users’ expectations of IT deliveries have become IT services instantaneously and continuously ready and available, a transition from a traditional infrastructure-focused deployment model into a cloud-ready, cloud-enabled, and service-centric delivery vehicle in enterprise IT is imminent.

IO-numbersDownload the above references: Cost Study and Forrester's paper.

Microsoft private cloud solutions are based on Windows Server (or Windows Hyper-V Server) and System Center. Windows infrastructure and Active Directory have been deployed in the past two decades to many IT shops in various sizes, filed-tested, and proven solid. The common core bits in Windows infrastructure and client products lay a strategic layer to ensure seamless integration and stability among products and solutions. Windows Server family and System Center suite together fundamentally prepare IT with a technically-sound architecture and financially sustainable computing platform in the long run.

For IT decision making, there is a private cloud assessment tool to facilitate what-if analysis. Above all, IT professionals must recognize the sense of urgency and transition in cloud computing, or be left out. With the increasing pressure to produce faster and more with less, for enterprise IT, the old-school infrastructure-focused deployment model was then and gone, while building a private cloud and becoming user- and service-centric is now and beyond. Enterprise IT is no longer just about managing servers, networks, and storage; instead IT is about shortening go-to-market by delivering services, i.e. ITaaS and resource available on demand. This is not only a transformation of IT, but the survival of any IT establishment.

For IT professionals, there are quality and free training resources for developing technical depth on Windows Server and System Center platform to better prepare and become productive in a cloud engagement.